Welcome to Tai Chi & Qigong (Chi Kung) University

     Teacher's Course for "How to Better Explain Asian Concepts to Western  
       Students," and "Marketing Tips for Teacher to Create Abundance."

                   THIS COURSE IS APPLICABLE to TEACHERS of "ANY STYLE" of TAI CHI or QIGONG.

The video, audio, and graphics, in this instructional offer a firm grounding in important Tai Chi & Qigong basic concepts, with an elegant approach enabling the Western student to "relax" into the process, enjoying it more, rather than being flustered by it. This instructional may help you impart important concepts you already understand to your beginning students, struggling to grasp it.

Bill Douglas has been a best selling Tai Chi author for years now. He explains that it is obviously not because he is a great master, but just the opposite. Tai Chi & Qigong were very hard for Bill to comprehend, physically, emotionally, and mentally. It took him years to begin to really fathom what it was all about. However, this was the grain of sand that formed a pearl, as he learned tips to help new students get the concepts more easily through his own journey to simplify their learning for himself.

Both Bill's parent's died of stress disease, Bill being unable back then to explain these tools so the average Westerner could feel comfortable with them. But, this inspired Bill to find ways to make these ancient mystical tools, more tangible and more immediately useful to the average modern person, so that others could benefit from what his parents couldn't. This Teacher Instructional course are some of the fruits of Bill's labor.

The below visuals/audio are contributions from the best selling tai chi book, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & Qigong," and the popular complimenting DVD "Anthology of T'ai Chi & Qigong: The Prescription for the Future."


How to explain the concept of "Qi" energy
to the Western student:
Video Explanation by Bill Douglas, Founder
of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day
Click below image for Video Explanation of "Qi"

How do we bring the student's mind into the "internal experience," to more quickly "feel" what Tai Chi & Qigong have to offer, rather than just getting it "mentally"?

Why is this important? One of the profound things Tai Chi & Qigong have to offer the modern student, is an ability to dis-engage the busy mind from the "yang energy" rat-race of modern digital life, and back into the "yin" contemplative perceptual experience of "observing" life.

This is so important because the analytical, action/goal oriented part of our modern minds, are over taxed, and exhausted from over use. To experience the "passive awareness" that is a large part of the healing aspect of Tai Chi & Qigong practice, is to allow the over-used action mind to rest, and to open to the relaxed energy of the yin, contemplative part of consciousness. Researchers would refer to this state of mind as the "alpha state," when the brain is saturated in Alpha brain waves, rather than the busy Beta waves of the normal waking mind. In our increasingly "digital" world, we have less and less tactile experiences, and the passive awareness part of the mind is less stimulated, leaving our nerves jangled and exhausted.

A large part of the reason people find so much release and relief from Tai Chi & Qigong practice, or other mind/body experiences, is because of the state of "passive" awareness these exercises put the mind into, whereby they are "feeling" breath, and the sensual experience of gentle movements, not "analyzing" or "judging" ANYTHING, just feeling for the pleasure of it.

Now, for complex Tai Chi or Qigong forms, this process can take a while to experience, because the first level of teaching is largely an "intellectual" memorization process, which can further exasperate the stress that usually drives them to seek Tai Chi or Qigong in the first place. Then they too often just "drop out of class" frustrated by the process, lacking the patience required to get to the next stage, which would give them relief.

A TOOL TO HELP EXPEDITE THIS PROCESS:

My teacher and her teacher's teacher, developed a Sitting Qigong experience based on some ancient mind/body tools, but also evolved to maximize it's effectiveness in the modern world with modern students. Below is a basic sitting qigong experience they developed, that you can use as a teacher to prepare yourself for class, but can also help your students gain a faster and deeper appreaciation of the inner release that moving Tai Chi & Qigong forms eventually also encourage.

A Sitting Qigong Experience, to Expidite Student's
Ability to Achive Passive Inner Awareness:
Video Explanation by Bill Douglas, Founder
of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day
Click for Audio "Sitting Qigong" Experience



Explaining the Concept of Vertical Axis, or
Postural Alignment, Horse Stance, "Filling" and "Emptying":

The Horse Stance is best for teaching basic postural alignment

Front Image
Side Image






Graphic to help students see postural goals during Horse Stance and Tai Chi/Qigong Movements:

Slightly Exagerated Image of Postural Alignment The biggest struggle as a teacher, teaching the Western student, is to get them to "stop struggling."

Westerners have been taught that exercise must be hard, or it doesn't do anything.

The effortless motion required to flow effectively through Tai Chi & Qigong motions is alien to the average new comer student in the West.

Remind students that after they think of their head lifting as if drawn up by a string from the center of their heads, chin drawn in to bring head back into vertical alignment, and allowing the tail bone to drop down . . . then they should breathe, and relax into the stance, allowing the body to "relax into an elongated posture," rather than standing at attention to acivee postural alignment. A subtle but profoundly important difference to impart to them.

Our goal should be to help students use breath and visualization techniques to "relax into" and "relax around" the postures we are teaching, not to stress or strain them with challenges.

The more "relaxed" and "refreshed" they feel when they leave, the more they'll come back, and in the end, the more they'll learn. Teaching Tai Chi and Qigong should be a "play time" with the teacher breathing and relaxing into the forms he/she instructs the class to relax into. All should leave refreshed. Teaching does not have to be "work," it can be a relaxing "play time." If the teacher is "working" then the students feel the strain. If the teacher is "relaxing, breathing, and enjoying," then the students feel that energy fill the room.

When You See Students "Leaning" over or back, and out of their Vertical Axis, or Postural Alignment, a tip for enabling them to "feel" why Tai Chi and Qigong (often) are done in the Vertical Postural Alignment and not leaning. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a holistic physical experience is worth a million times that, because the awareness it cultivates is not just "mental" or "brain-mind," but is learned throughout the entire cellular structure. Some of the world's most successful language immersement courses teaching foriegn languages, use body movements and physical touch to get the mind to absorb information both faster and deeper. They don't want the students to just say "fork" in the new language, but to actually touch, feel, and use the fork as they say it, for this purpose of deeper absorption.

When you see students leaning over, explain to them that you will rarely if at all lean over through the postures, and here is why.

1) Settle into your Horse Stance, allowing the tail bone to relax down and under, and the head to lift and chin to draw in.

2) With each breath exhaling out let your eyes clothes and all the back muscles let go, to "relax" into an elongated posture.

3) Let your shoulder's drop and relax with each letting go, allow every atom of your being to let go and sink onto the Vertical Axis of Postural Alignment, a spear of energy from 12 feet above you, down thru the very center of our physical being, descending down 12 feet below into the ground. This spear of energy simultaneously holds us up effortlessly, and also roots us deeply into the earth.

4) Good, notice how relaxed the body is, as the Vertical Axis holds us up "effortlessly."

5) Now, with your eyes still closed and your awareness within your body, lean forward about 5 or 6 inches. Feel your toes digging into the ground, the back of your calves tightening up, your back, and all the way up to the head muscles are tensing to hold you up [*note, when teaching I always experience what I'm teaching with the group, so that I can speak from what I'm feeling inside, and not just memorized lines from the head. So, as you relax, and then lean forward out of your Vertical Alignment, you'll feel where things tighten, and you can speak from that, you don't have to memorize the words here, just the general technique.]

6) Good, now let your head come back up in your Postural Alignment, eyes still closed, so you can feel within. Breathe and let all those muscles release and relax that had strained to hold you up, and with each releasing breath you allow yourself to again relax onto your Vertical Axis.

7) Now, with eyes still closed, let your head lean back a few inches until you feel the heels digging in, the calves tightening, and again you'll feel muscles through the legs, back, belly and up to the head straining slightly to hold you up, compensating for your head being back out of alignment.

8) Good, and let your head now come back into your Vertical Axis alignment back aver your shoulders and torso. Breathe and feel all those muscles beginning to relax again. Now, open your eyes.

9) See what a little leaning can do to add stress to the body. Now multiply that by the hundreds of minutes we unconsciously move through the day, and you'll begin to understand why our bodies are so tight and exhausted at the end of the day even when we've barely exerted them physically at our modern jobs. Tai Chi & Qigong will train you to A) Become aware of this, and B) Give you relaxation, breathing, and physical techniques to correct it. At first Tai Chi can seem annoying because first you become aware of bad habits throughout the day, and it takes time to replace those with new fresh habits. But, if you remember to "breathe" and to "let go" over and over again during the day it can make this transition more enjoyable and relaxing.


Filling and Emptying the Legs.

Moving the Dan Tien, and Vertical Axis, from one leg to another,
which is the core of the Tai Chi or Qigong motions.

Below: Filling the Right leg. Emptying the Left. Filling the Left Leg. Emptying the Right.
*
Notice how the Vertical Axis (Postural Alignment) is now
completely aligned over the Left leg? This is how the leg is filled.

Explain that the filling and emptying, side to side shifting of the dan tien and vertical axis is completely effortless. With each breath, let the shoulders drop and sink as the dan tien carries us back and forth . . . effortlessly.

Its as though we are scooting our bottom back and forth across a park bench, so there is no bobbing up and down, just flowing side to side, as the dan tien "effortlessly" carries us back and forth.

As you continue to breath full deep breaths, allowing the shoulders to relax down with each exhale, observe the dynamics of the body, as muscle, bone, and connective tissue work together effortlessly to flow the body back and forth. If you feel stress, strain, or places where the body is tighter, or trying harder than it needs to . . . on the next releasing breath . . . allow the light or energy to expand into the center of that point of blockage, and then sit back and observe the response, without any expectation or judgement. Just playing with breath, light, and release . . . [Review aforementioned "Sitting Qigong" audio experience, to review this process of "awareness" "light/energy" and "release" techniques.


The Unbendable Arm: